Harding Mitchell has experienced Will writing solicitors and Probate law experts who can assist you with drafting basic Wills, administration of estates, gifting property and related services. We have designed our Wills & Probate services to assess our clients’ needs and to make sure our solicitors are there to help them, when required.
Whether you are an executor to a Will or a close blood relative of someone who has died, this is clearly a very difficult time for the family, however, our firm can assist. There are also occasions when family members can no longer look after their own financial affairs. Therefore, we will make sure you can help protect their worthy assets. Our solicitors can help you make as well as change a Will and where possible, advise on inheritance tax and other related affairs.
At Harding Mitchell, we take time to understand your circumstances and help you with providing clear legal advice suited to your personal needs. We understand how important it is to safeguard property and expensive possessions that you or your family may rely on in future. Since, this is important for you, it’s also important for us. You are our priority.
Why is making a Will important?
Making your Will is incredibly important, no matter your situation and age. This way, you prevent the risk of underestimating the value of your assets and leave your loved ones financially secure in unfortunate scenarios.
What are the risks if you don’t make a Will?
If you do not make your Will, then all of your assets will be distributed according to the standard default system that is prescribed by law. This may not go the way that you might have chosen or thought of. There will not be any guarantee that your possessions will pass on to close family members. That in turn can be the cause of numerous family issues, difficulties and disagreements leading to disputes. Some of the common problems faced by family could be;
A surviving spouse might not necessarily inherit everything.
The family home may have to be sold.
An unmarried partner has not automatic entitlement.
Children may be unintentionally disinherited.
How can we help you?
Our areas of specialism are as follows;
Will Writing/Will changing
Probate – when someone dies
Drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney/Court of Protection
Setting up Inheritance Tax & Estate planning
Identifying and Safeguarding your Assets (including digital assets)
Will Writing & Changing
Making your Will certainly provides you peace of mind for the future. Your Will is a legally binding document that states how your assets can be protected and then delivered to your loved ones after your death. In your Will, you are solely responsible for deciding who will be in charge of distributing all of your assets and also who should be the guardian of your children if you happen to have children under the age of 18. Also, you can state your preferences about your funeral arrangements.
Harding Mitchell’s specialist team has a lot of expertise on writing Wills, changing a Will, setting-up trusts, on inheritance tax and its future effects etc. Our company is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We are aware that after life planning is an emotional process. Therefore, our team of experts will always provide discreet and sensitive advice to provide peace of mind to our clients for the future.
Probate – When someone dies
Taking care of financial affairs of someone close to you who has died is known as Probate. Harding Mitchell solicitors understand how difficult it can be to handle all the financial and legal matters of your dear one and at the same time, come to terms with your loss. You will find our team to be very approachable and sympathetic. They will give you appropriate legal guidance through this difficult time and will offer services best tailored to your personal needs.
In order to administer the assets of the deceased, it is first required to establish a valid Will and identify all the possessions owned by the deceased including their debts. Calculation of (any) inheritance tax is followed by it. Tax must be paid, debts cleared and assets be collected and then the estate must be distributed correctly according to the Will so the family avoids any kinds of liabilities and disputes.
If any disputes arise during this process, Harding Mitchell can also appoint a dispute resolving specialist team to settle down all the matters. Moreover, in case of no Will, we can also provide assistance and advise you on rules on ‘intestacy’ which is the legal term for having ‘no Will’.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
There is possibility that in old age or due to any unforeseen illness/injury in future, we may not be able to look after our financial affairs. We can never be sure of the future. Hence, it is prudent to consider and plan for such unforeseen circumstances which can arise anytime. This can be achieved by choosing someone you trust to take care of your legal and financial matters on your behalf. This is called granting them a ‘power of attorney’. We at Harding Mitchell hope that you never need it in future but having taken such measures is definitely an act of foresightedness.
There are different types of powers of attorney. The most common is ‘Lasting Powers of Attorney’. It is a legal document that allows you to choose a person you trust in order to manage your financial matters and health/welfare when you are no longer able to do so. Harding Mitchell lawyers have special expertise in drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney. It must be noted that LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before its usage. Our solicitors can guide you for that purpose too.
In instances where you desire to nominate two different people to manage your welfare and business matters, then that is also possible. In that case, you will have to set up two separate LPAs. One would be personal LPA and the other, property & business affairs LPA. For a personal LPA, you will have to choose one or more persons over the age of 18 years (you can choose up to five people). The same goes with business affairs LPA but in that case you can also appoint a trust corporation.
Establishment of Trusts
If you wish to manage the amount of tax that you pay (inheritance tax), then it may be advisable to create trusts, since they can be beneficial in a number of ways. For example, If you wish to set aside money for your grandchildren when they get older, then you can achieve this through a trust arrangement. This way you can protect your share of ownership in a particular property and it will be ensured that your grandchildren inherit your estate. Trusts can be established in your lifetime or after you die through your Will.
Harding Mitchell solicitors team have expertise in setting up trusts and can simplify what may look like a time consuming and complicated task.
Inheritance Tax & Estate Planning
Inheritance tax can be worrying for a lot of people who are particularly concerned that the government will take a big share of the money in their estate and their next generations will be deprived of their financial assets. Harding Mitchell’s team understands your concerns and can help take your worries away regarding inheritance tax on your finances. We have knowledge of how to minimize the inheritance tax amount that your estate will pay.
Our services in this regard can help you with setting up tax efficient will trusts, making tax-efficient charitable bequests, tax relief on agricultural/business property, inheritance tax saving arrangements and making lifetime gifts.
We can assure you that our knowledge will help you make the right decision and aid you in taking advantage of all inheritance tax planning for your estate. We can give you free consultations in the first instance and then inform you of our particular services in this field.
Identifying and Safeguarding your Assets
At Harding Mitchell, we always advise our clients on the keen management of their worthy digital assets due to financial and sentimental values.
In the event of an unforeseen unfortunate incident, if you die and have not put in place certain arrangements for the access and control of your personal memories, there could be a significant strain on your family and friends. Therefore, Harding Mitchell offers best advice for you in such instances and makes sure you do not have to suffer from any emotional impact.
Get our help!
To enquire about legal advice and help on Wills & Probate, contact our professional Wills & Probate team to find out how we can be of assistance. Our contact no: -020 3191 8080.